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3rd Party AdSense Click Trackers Disabled
heyday




msg:3355385
 5:07 am on Jun 1, 2007 (gmt 0)

Today I noticed in my asrep tool that it is no longer tracking adsense ads that are clicked on.....

After comparing notes with a few others....looks like things have changed in the Google code.

I used the tool a lot to find the MFAs to block.....

heyday

 

fischermx




msg:3356827
 6:08 pm on Jun 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

BTW, it does still show you when you click in Links Unit, right?
At least with my custom made tracker it works.
How does it work with adlogger, asrep,etc?

martinibuster




msg:3356864
 7:17 pm on Jun 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Do you think this is a deliberate move by Google or the side effect of another change?

If this is the side effect of another change, what change could it be?

If this is a deliberate move, what business motivation is there for foiling third party scripts?

europeforvisitors




msg:3356865
 7:20 pm on Jun 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

Do you think this is a deliberate move by Google or the side effect of another change?

I'm guessing it's a side effect.

If this is the side effect of another change, what change could it be?

Improved referral statistics and site-targeted contextual ads on the advertiser side.

If this is a deliberate move, what business motivation is there for foiling third party scripts?

N.A., unless Google is planning to make similar statistics available through Google Analytics and wants to encourage use of that free Google product.

fischermx




msg:3356881
 7:58 pm on Jun 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

I have no idea, but I'll give you another finding.

Try with a top-dog publisher ID, pick whatever, you know who they are, and test it in your localhost.
It does serve the "Go to.." code!

inactivist




msg:3356886
 8:17 pm on Jun 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

This may well be a 'side effect' - from what I can see, it's a 'side effect' of the new ad layouts with the graphic 'Ads by Google' rather than the pure-text ads. Every once in a while I'll see ads that have the pure-text layout.

Regardless of whether it's a side effect or intentional, publishers just lost one of the only tools (however imperfect) in their arsenal - unless someone can tell us how we can automatically collect and track ad destination URLs now .

(I refer to the click tracking scripts as imperfect because in my experience they could not tell you the actual destination adUrl= parameter, rather, they reported the 'display URL' which for some ads was completely useless.)

lammert




msg:3357085
 4:27 am on Jun 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Do you think this is a deliberate move by Google or the side effect of another change?

In my opinion it is deliberate. With the recent closing of the arbitrage accounts, Google has made a statement that publishers should concentrate on the content of their site, rather than on the performance of the ads. Disabeling third party click tracking is another sign they are moving in that direction.

What they IMO are trying to do is transferring the control of performance and displaying of ads from the publishers to the advertisers. From a macro business view this is the right thing to do, although it may hurt the induvidual publisher. The advertisers are spending money in the program, so should have control--or the imagination that they have control--just to keep them happy and let them advertise in the content network. Every effort on the publisher side that interferes with that--like hand picking URLs for the URL filter based on the results of AdSense click trackers--may work contra productive and may be subject to banning by Google.

jenkers




msg:3357148
 8:15 am on Jun 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

without sounding too paranoid I think its probably intentional.
G have been trying for a long time to stop people messing with their model and have just got rid of the arbitragers.

G has tried very hard to create a very very open marketplace with as few barriers to entry as possible. The content marketplace needs to be as clean, unmanipulable (is that a word?), and friction-free as possible. However, the ability (sometimes) of publishers to create little pockets of inertia goes against this ideal.

Could be completely wrong of course but I think that G really don't need people to be able to know which ads have been clicked on their sites.

zett




msg:3357164
 9:13 am on Jun 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

I guess it's 100% intentional. At Google, major changes (to major products) do not get released unintentionally. Google do not WANT us to know what's going on.

If they do not provide suitable tools to tell us (publishers) what's going on on our sites, it's likely that someone else will use this weakness and can try to catch up. (Eh, MSN and YPN product folks, you are reading this, don't you?)

europeforvisitors




msg:3357261
 1:45 pm on Jun 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

I don't know if it's intentional or not. If the code changed for the other possible reasons that I mentioned, it stands to reason that third-party click trackers might be broken, since it obviously isn't Google's responsibility to coordinate with third-party software vendors who piggyback on its system without being invited to do so.

However, I agree with Lammert's suggestion that Google may prefer to have AdSense publishers focus on content instead of ads. Anyone who visits this forum regularly knows that quite a few publishers regard AdSense as a platform for site development, which is a far cry from what Google intended it to be (a way to monetize existing sites and content). If Google has any desire to encourage a better, more useful Web--which I think it does, if only for practical business reasons--then it isn't in Google's interests or the Web's interests for publishers to let the tail wag the dog.

celgins




msg:3357268
 2:21 pm on Jun 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

What they IMO are trying to do is transferring the control of performance and displaying of ads from the publishers to the advertisers. From a macro business view this is the right thing to do, although it may hurt the induvidual publisher.

Exactly -- and site-targeted contextual ads will be a big part of it.

Of course there will always be small-to-medium advertisers, but for the power advertisers who want to try the content side again, spending money there will be a lot easier once they gain more control over when/where their contextual ads are placed.

pizzaguy




msg:3357336
 5:21 pm on Jun 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

howcome my asrep is still tracking my clicks?

inactivist




msg:3357430
 7:36 pm on Jun 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

Do the ads on your site show 'go to example.com' in the browser status bar when you hover the mouse cursor over each ad? Mine don't.

Since all the ad click loggers I've seen use the status bar text to report the ad click, since that's the only thing the reporting scripts can get at - no text in the status bar, nothing to report.

Another related issue - firefox allows users to selectively disable javascript changing the status bar - obviously, reporting cannot work for site visitors who click ads, and have blocked javascript's ability to change the status bar text...

As nice as the reporting tools are (were?) they offered an incomplete solution due to the reliance on the status bar text as the sole indicator of ad click landing page - the landing page and the status bar text did not always match, did they?

fischermx




msg:3357438
 7:51 pm on Jun 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

pizzaguy:

Yes, clicks are still able to be tracked, but not the destination URL.

incrediBILL




msg:3357629
 1:22 am on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm not on top of the javascript browser compatibility issues these days, but what about using captureEvents() to trap all clicks and simply extract the location of the object clicked?

MyNewPC




msg:3357675
 3:12 am on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

The go to www.sitename.com does still appear on the status bar for ads that have the old small text Ads by Google. It does not appear for the ads that have the relatively new Ads by Google (with Google in larger text).

I suspect that the adloggers haven't been updated to reflect the change. I've never used an adlogger but could this be the difference between Ads by Google appearing in plain text versus an image or something else that is different?

I really do miss not being able to see the URL simply by hovering over the ad. If this is intentional on Google's part, I'd really like to know why.

xtreem




msg:3357687
 3:54 am on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

IE7 has been upated to not allow scripts to update the status bar. This version of the browser has been rolled out to xx% of the public, Opera and Firefox also generally have this restriction.

It is a security hazard to allow script to modify the status bar, as you can have a link which goes one place, but the status bar advertises another location.

Its a sensible move by google to not include this code in their ads. The bandwidth savings alone would be quite a bit, but its pointless to include security hazard code that does nothing for xx% of users.

The 'top' publishers probably only still have this code because Google has custom code for these publishers, and they haven't bothered to update every custom code for every 'top' publisher.

MyNewPC




msg:3357691
 4:05 am on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I use IE6 so this isn't something limited to IE7. The discrepancy I described is not limited to top publishers. I've seen it on both large and small sites.

xtreem




msg:3357706
 4:35 am on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Obviously it has been taken out of the adsense code (for most publishers). My point about IE7 was that if most users (people browsing sites, not publishers) are using IE7, then they wouldnt get the status bar updates. In which case there is little point in Google attempting to set it through their ads.

pizzaguy




msg:3357707
 4:41 am on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I noticed that my clicks are being tracked but not the destination url instead of destination url I have this Unknown (MSIE 7, status bar access is disabled)

And no I dont have go to www.example.com on my status url. So basically, clicks are still being tracked but not the destination urls.

Well, that was a good future for asrep but the main purpose i am using asrep is to avoid click fraud so it is still good for me.

MyNewPC




msg:3357712
 4:47 am on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

xtreem, sorry, but that's not it either. I'm looking at a webpage right now that has four AdSense blocks (yes, a violation). One is the old Ads by Google format which allows hovering. The other three are the new Ads by Google format which doesn't allow hovering.

I'm confident that "most users" are not using IE7 but that doesn't really matter because I doubt hovering is an issue with site visitors. It's an issue for AdSense publishers though.

jkwilson78




msg:3357991
 2:09 pm on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm not an Adsense publisher but an Adwords advertiser and this thread caught my attention.

Something that might be of interest to some here is that Google is beta testing a new report for advertisers that will show us every site and the pages on that site which our ads are showing (along with conversion data for those sites if you use the Adwords conversion tracking features). It is rumored to be released to all advertisers this month.

Also, a few months back Google gave Adwords advertisers the ability to exclude an unlimited number of sites from the content/adsense network up from the old limit of 500.

At the time, this was nice but kind of useless since as advertisers we had no way of knowing which sites our ads showed up on. Now this makes a lot more sense.

I think once this report is released to all, advertisers will start excluding a lot of sites.

Just thought I would offer up this info as it seemed to fit with the theory about giving more control to advertisers and less to publishers.

celgins




msg:3358011
 2:33 pm on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Also, a few months back Google gave Adwords advertisers the ability to exclude an unlimited number of sites from the content/adsense network up from the old limit of 500.

For those of you who are wondering why your earnings have dropped over the past few weeks, I think this is one of the reasons.

It will get even worse for some publishers when Google makes those reports available to advertisers, and those advertisers begin filling those unlimited lists.

fischermx




msg:3358019
 2:46 pm on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just God knows how much I wish Google screw it up big some day.
When most people opt out most of the content network and try to advertise only in big media sites, the bids war won't make up the lose of all the small publishers.
I bet you!

europeforvisitors




msg:3358027
 2:53 pm on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

When most people opt out most of the content network and try to advertise only in big media sites, the bids war won't make up the lose of all the small publishers.

Improved statistics for advertisers (including conversion statistics) shouldn't hurt small publishers whose traffic converts. In fact, those improved statistics should help small publishers whose traffic converts by attracting more advertisers to the network and making those small publishers stand out from the crowd.

jkwilson78




msg:3358225
 5:30 pm on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Improved statistics for advertisers (including conversion statistics) shouldn't hurt small publishers whose traffic converts. In fact, those improved statistics should help small publishers whose traffic converts by attracting more advertisers to the network and making those small publishers stand out from the crowd.

From and Advertiser's point of view this is absolutely correct.

It doesn't matter to me wheter a publisher's site is small or a huge media/coprporation. If the traffic converts I want my ads on the site if it doesn't I don't want my ads there.

matrix_neo




msg:3358274
 6:18 pm on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Google is planning to make similar statistics available through Google Analytics and wants to encourage use of that free Google product

EVP, thanks for that message, I have been waiting for that tool from google for a long, since current free tools may only work with PHP, so tracking is not always possible. And also you face a risk of firing an under performing employee if you make a decent amount through adsense :)

If anyone knows any tool that is paid or free will work with all sort of webpages, kindly let me know through sticky.

mvander




msg:3358312
 6:59 pm on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

You know the click trackers also could have been used by "pay to click" programs. Where when they saw you IP with an ad click then you got credited. This would pretty much shut down those people. Maybe one good thing about the change anyway.

amznVibe




msg:3358466
 10:06 pm on Jun 4, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just for the record was there ever code that tracked in Firefox?
The snippet I used only worked for IE clickers.

(and yes it definitely stopped tracking clicks on 31st)

I'd like to see a code snippet that at least tracks a click happened,
even if it cannot tell what url it went to. The old code I use does
not even capture the click event inside the google iframe.

[edited by: amznVibe at 10:12 pm (utc) on June 4, 2007]

JohnKelly




msg:3359070
 1:29 pm on Jun 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

AmnzVibe, no I do not believe they ever clicked tracks in FireFox. Only IE as far as I know.

zett




msg:3359106
 1:59 pm on Jun 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

The click tracker I am using (can't mention the name here as per TOS) has always been tracking both IE and Firefox, but with Firefox you never got the destination URL (pretty much the same with IE7 and the disabled status bar access by default), which is useless anyway by now.

This tracker is tracking all the other metrics (e.g. time and date of click, page on which the click occured, format and colors of ad, time until click occured, IP address of click, country origin of click).

Basically I would expect Google to provide all that data (plus destination URL) to us free of charge as part of the Adsense program.

zett




msg:3359363
 6:52 pm on Jun 5, 2007 (gmt 0)

** UPDATE **

I just checked the statistics of my click tracker, and apparently SOME clicks (a minority, though) are still being recorded with their full target destination. What the heck is going on?

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